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Nano

A piece of the boron-nitride nanotube yarn

Not satisfied with your Kevlar body armor? Well, you may be in luck. American researchers have used lasers to create the world’s first practical macroscopic yarns from boron nitride fibers. The development could unlock the potential of the material for a wide variety of applications, including radiation-shielding for spacecraft, solar energy collection, and stronger body armor. If the supplied photo is anything to go by, it also does a great job at holding up a quarter.  Read More

New bio-active nanomaterial enables humans to grow new cartilage

Sport is tough on the body, and one of the major health risks from being active is permanent damage to cartilage around the joints. Humans are unable to regenerate cartilage once they are adults and often have to live with little relief from painful joints or osteoarthritis, but researchers at Northwestern University are the first to design a bio-active nanomaterial that promotes the growth of new cartilage in vivo and without the use of expensive growth factors. Good new sports fans...  Read More

Nanopool's Liquid Glass being applied to a statue at Ataturk's Mausoleum in Turkey

Yep, you read it right, spray-on glass. It could revolutionize the fields of agriculture, medicine, fashion, transportation - really, it would be easier to list where it might not be applicable. The remarkable product, called Liquid Glass, was developed by the German nano-tech firm Nanopool GmbH. Their patented process, known as “SiO2 ultra thin layering” involves extracting silica molecules from quartz sand, adding them to water or ethanol, and then... well, they won’t tell us what they do next, but the end result is a 100 nanometer-thick, clear, flexible, breathable coating that can be applied to almost any surface. We’re told that there are no added nano-particles, resins or additives - the coating is formed using quantum forces. The possible uses are endless.  Read More

Super-shell has a unique three-layer structure dissipating energy that would cause weaker ...

They say life imitates art, but any scientist knows that the best designs imitate life. Researchers from the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN) are drawing new biomimicry inspiration for body armor design from a hardy ocean snail that boasts a shell structure unlike anything else seen in nature... or in material research labs.  Read More

Window washers may need to look for alternative employment thanks to the new nano-material...

While attempting to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease researchers have discovered a new nanomaterial that can repel dust and water and could provide a self-cleaning coating for windows or solar panels. Unlike similar dust-busting materials that take inspiration from the surface of the lotus leaf, the new material is actually made up of molecules of peptides that “grow” to resemble small forests of grass. The coating also acts as a super-capacitor, thereby having implications for electric cars in that it could provide an energy boost to batteries.  Read More

Researchers are closer to using semiconducting nanowires to create a new generation of sma...

Researchers agree that chip manufacturers will soon reach a hard limit in terms of transistor miniaturization, disproving rule-of-thumb predictions that transistor density roughly doubles every 18 to 24 months. But a collaboration between IBM, Purdue University and the University of California in Los Angeles may have found a way to squeeze more transistor in the same area by building them vertically rather than horizontally.  Read More

The nanoscale resonators developed at Cornell can exert relatively strong forces on tiny p...

Scientists at Cornell University report they can now use a light beam carrying a single milliwatt of power to move objects and even change the optical properties of silicon from opaque to transparent at the nanometric scale. Such an advancement could prove very useful for the future of micro-electromechanical (MEMS) and micro-optomechanical (MOMS) systems.  Read More

The finline structure in finFETs allows for greater electrical insulation and processing s...

Researchers at Purdue University have reported important progress in developing finFETs, a type of transistor that some say will eventually substitute the silicon-based kind because it allows engineers to push miniaturization even further in the perpetual effort to validate the predictions of Moore's Law.  Read More

SEM image of carbon nanotube bundles (Image: Materialscientist via Wikipedia Commons)

Carbon nanotubes promise to revolutionize everything from medicine to electronics and power generation. Unfortunately nanotubes are notoriously hard to work with and chemists worldwide have struggled for years to even make them. Now researchers have unveiled a method for the industrial-scale processing of pure carbon nanotube fibers that builds upon the tried-and-true processes that chemical firms have used for decades to produce plastics.  Read More

A section of a butterfly wing under a microscope (Photo: PSU/SINC)

Researchers have developed a technique to replicate biological structures, such as butterfly wings, on a nano scale. They focused on the tiny nano-sized photonic structures that are found in the insects’ cuticle, and which give insects their iridescence - that slightly metallic sheen that also seems to shift in color depending on the viewing angle. By replicating the biotemplate of butterfly wings, the researchers hope to be able to make various optically-active structures, such as optical diffusers or coverings that maximize solar cell absorption.  Read More

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